What does it look like to let your kid grow? It's as simple -- and profound -- as this. Prompted by the post, "You Can Do It! Set Aside Your Fears for Half an Hour and Give Your Kid a #LetGrowMoment," Philip Aldridge of Fort Worth, TX., wrote:
Dear Let Grow: Last night I challenged my 11 yo son to ride his bike to a nearby restaurant and buy dinner for he and I with his own money. The restaurant is about a mile away and he had to ride over a busy bridge during peak traffic. He made it there and back in under 30 minutes no issues.
Life just got easier for me and him.
We asked the dad if he would have his son describe what it was like and, again, it was pretty darn basic:
The ride to Whole Foods was easy because over the summer I would take a similar route to get to my friend’s house. I felt pretty excited to go on the mission because it was the first time I had to buy food for me and my father with my own money and transportation. -- Joseph Aldridge
And the dad added:
Over the summer he would ride to his friend’s home that is 2 miles away from us by himself because his friend isn’t allowed to leave the street. He cooks his own lunches for the week with the food he picks at the store based off of his own meal planning. I just approve purchases, pay for it and provide transportation at this point. He’s fairly self sufficient in a domestic capacity. We’re working on the outdoors next. I hope this helps.
It does. It helps your son and the rest of us, since it's another snapshot of a #LetGrowMoment. Let us be giddily optimistic here and predict that in 10 years' time, kids across America will be swapping tales of their adventures, and parents will be relaxing and rejoicing as a bit of childhood independence becomes normal again.
As the dad wrote, when that happens life becomes easier for the parents AND the kids. The only downside?
Um. There isn't a downside. That's the point. (Here's how a school can do the Let Grow Project, getting all the kids to do something independently.) - L